"Survivor smarts, soulful songs and a band that sounds like they've been with the singer every step of the road." - PAUL KELLY
"Natalie Gillespie's album, "Courage to Love" is a beautiful blend of soul & blues with a real down-home heartfelt Aussie edge to it. Great personal-search sets of lyrics, all summed up in three powerful words, Courage to Love."- IAN MOSS
Natalie Gillespie is one of Perth’s most soulful singer/songwriters. A passionate storyteller, Natalie weaves her whole heart into each and every song, taking her audiences on a journey into her most vulnerable and joyful moments. Having toured nationally and internationally with Yothu Yindi and supported an incredible array of International artists, Natalie is about to release her second solo album. Working with some of Perth’s most exciting musicians and some of Australia’s most revered and respected talent, the upcoming album will be a rare treat for lovers of music of the soul.
Having spent most of her life performing, touring, writing and recording, Natalie Gillespie has cemented her position as one of Australia’s most accomplished independent female artists.
Natalie attributes her success to an unswerving devotion to music, hard work, a bit of luck and a lot of love. After moving to Sydney from Perth in 1991, she joined Beatfish with James Freud and Martin Plaza as both lead and backing vocalist and toured extensively with the outfit.
While on tour with Beatfish in Los Angeles in 1992 as part of the Wizards of Oz Showcase, Natalie met Yothu Yindi who asked her to join them on their world tour. She toured solidly for the next three years, playing clubs, festivals, cultural and TV events; supporting bands such as Nirvana, the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, and Crowded House. She recorded Freedom, Yothu Yindi's third studio album and the live album alternative NRG at the Oakland Coliseum, San Francisco. Touring with Yothu Yindi, Natalie gained recognition and great experience playing to major audiences in Australia, Europe, Japan, Canada, and the USA.
Embarking on her own songwriting career in 1995, Natalie moved to Los Angeles and had the pleasure of performing and recording with one of her favourite songwriters, Colin Hay from Men at Work. Honing her craft as a singer/songwriter, she performed in many small acoustic venues around LA and New York, connecting with her inner storyteller and bringing a new vulnerability to her music.
Returning to Sydney in 1999, Natalie signed a deal with Universal Publishing and quickly became a popular fixture on the Club Acoustica scene in and around Sydney and Melbourne. She also started working closely with Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil, writing songs and performing with his other band the Ghostwriters. In 2000 Natalie was heavily involved in the recording and showcasing of the Olympic Album, performing alongside great Australian artists such as Diesel, Marcia Hines, Deborah Conway and Daryl Braithwaite.
Since returning to her hometown of Perth in 2002, Natalie has concentrated on writing and recording her own music. Her debut solo album My Hetti Prince, was recorded in 2003. The album, produced by Jeremy Allom (Massive Attack, Incognito), features industry heavyweights such as Grammy award winner Lucky Oceans, Golden Guitar winner Ian Simpson, and the distinctive drumming of Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil).
Natalie’s tribute to Mandawuy Yunupingu, Yolngu Man, was arranged by Iain Grandage and performed with his 4 piece string quartet, Wood. They were invited to perform this moving piece at the State Art Sponsorship Scheme Awards and the Premier’s Awards in front of discerning crowds including the former Premier of Western Australia Geoff Gallop.
Since independently releasing My Hetti Prince, Natalie has undertaken two national tours, played festivals alongside Cold Chisel, The Waifs, Tex Perkins, Archie Roach and supported artists such as Michael Buble, Joan Armatrading, Boz Scaggs, George Benson, Tina Arena and James Blundell.
Written and produced by Natalie Gillespie and Dave Brewer, Courage to Love is Natalie’s second studio album and it reflects the journey of the artist, from broken heart, through struggle and sorrow and ultimately to self-acceptance, hope and utter joy. Natalie’s raw, soulful sound and powerful lyrics, melding with the talents of some of the most dynamic musicians gracing the Australian music scene, creates an unforgettable, complex and eclectic emotional landscape.
A rebel ride through ages and influences, this album features some of Perth’s finest talent. Dave Brewer, Ric Eastman and Howie Morgan provide the defining sound for the album, with incredible feature performances by some of Australia’s best known musicians: Ben Franz (The Waifs), Vito Portolesi (The Mighty Reapers), Clayton Doley (Mahalia Barnes, The Mighty Reapers) and the legendary Ian Moss from Cold Chisel.
This entirely original album signals a triumphant return to writing and collaborating for Natalie, and tracks on the album are co-written by Dave Brewer, Pete Stone and Howie Morgan. From an acclaimed solo career performing around Australia and Internationally, this release represents a homecoming of sorts for Natalie and she feel blessed to share the journey with such talented, uncompromising and emotionally intelligent artists.
From her album launch in April we can expect to see Natalie embarking on a further journey to take her music to National and International stages. To catch the Journey Woman around town, make sure you check out her show schedule here: http://nataliegillespie.com/shows/.